Chrysanthemum Care Guide: How to Grow Chrysanthemums

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The cut chrysanthemum is a familiar flower in supermarkets and florists, and is grown commercially in enormous quantities.  It is a traditional backyard flower, and while its popular appeal has waxed and waned several times over the decades, it retains a strong following among its enthusiasts and exhibitors. Chrysanthemum cutting beds still take pride of place in several allotments.

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The vibrant flowers make a welcome late summer and fall show in beds and borders, plus they provide ideal cutting material for bouquets and indoor floral structures.

Chrysanthemums happen to be cultivated, admired and included in various art forms in China for 3,000 years, and also much more than 500 cultivars were understood there by 1630. Many of the familiar shapes, colors, and varieties were made in Japan, at which the chrysanthemum arrived around 400 AD and quickly became a part of popular and religious civilization. The flower adorns the Imperial Seal of Japan, there is an award for chivalry known as the’Order of the Chrysanthemum’, also the monarch sits on the Chrysanthemum Throne.

One of the first documents of the plant in Britain was in the Botanical Magazine of 1796, as soon as a specimen brought from Paris to Kew Gardens was included. The western title, chrysanthemum, stems from the Ancient Greek’chrysos’ (golden ) and ‘anthemon’ (flower), reflecting that the original species in which many the contemporary hybrids and varieties developed were a rich golden yellow color.

  • Jump To:
  • Overview
  • Varieties
  • Care
  • Propagation
  • Problems
  • FAQs

Plant Overview

Common Name Chrysanthemum, mums, chrysanths
Scientific Name Chrysanthemum indicum, C. sinese, C × grandiflorum and several others
Plant Family Asteraceae
Origin Asia and north-eastern Europe
Height Up to 1.5 metres depending on variety
Light Sunny position
Temperature Several forms to -15°C, however many aren’t frost hardy
Hardiness Mostly tender but a few hardy and half hardy types
Soil Rich loam, clay or sandy soil; some ordinary garden soil pH
Fertiliser Nitrogen established fertiliser in June and potash established fertiliser at flowering
Propagation Division, seed, cuttings
Pests Aphids, leaf miners, Chrysanthemum white rust and other infections
Difficulty Easy

Chrysanthemum Varieties

Chrysanthemum flowers are available in various types, from simple daisy shapes to complicated pompons and switches. Many hybrids and tens of thousands of cultivars are created for gardens and cut flower production. Perhaps the most important hybrid is Chrysanthemum x grandiflorum, derived originally from the species Chrysanthemum indicum, but also historically involving quite a few other species, a number of the earliest of which were likely never correctly recorded.

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Nearly 150 forms of chrysanthemum have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. Garden centers and nurseries sell a lot of the cultivars, including some widely available varieties and mixtures. Each of all the specialist chrysanthemum nurseries also creates its own favourites. While brand new ones continue to be introduced to the marketplace every year, a few of the old favourites have been around for centuries.

With such a wide variety of flower form and color available, the National Chrysanthemum Society generated a classification method, and every registered cultivar was allocated a classification number, which is frequently given later the title on specialist nursery lists. For instance, Chrysanthemum ‘Joyce Frieda’ has the code number 13bY. The amount 13 describes to the flowering time and classification category, 1 meaning it is mid-season flowering and 3 categorising it as a incurved blossom. The letter b defines the size of blossom, which is medium for ‘Joyce Freda’, also the second letter (Y) describes the color, in this case yellow.

Chrysanthemum flowering time is defined as ancient (September), mid (October) or overdue (November).

The kind of flower type is dependent upon the structure of blossom on the flower and the form of the blossom, like whether the petals are reflexed or incurved, also whether the blossoms are single or pompon shaped. The flower size is simply divided into small, medium and huge categories.

There are six principal chrysanthemum color groups, bronze, pink, purple, crimson, salmon and yellow. Each of these may be further classified as regular, ‘light’ or ‘deep’. There can also be other classes called ‘white’, ‘cream’ and ‘other colours’, meaning there are 21 possible color descriptions overall.

Some of the commonest classes include:

  • 28: The early-flowering outside pompons
  • 28b: The semi-pompons, or Japanese pompons
  • 29: The early-flowering external spray chrysanthemums
  • 29Id: Single chrysanthemums
  • 29k: The so-called Korean hybrids, which can be a cross between Chrysanthemum coreanum and C × grandiflorum ‘Ruth Hatton’

Here are only a couple of them the favorite varieties of chrysanthemum.

Chrysanthemum ‘Max Riley’

‘Max Riley’ is a half-hardy perennial that develops to 1.2m in height. It includes long-stemmed, bright yellowish incurved petal flowers up to 11cm in diameter from September. It is well known for being a reliable flowerer in the garden. ‘Bronze Max Riley’, which is a darker yellow, is also widely available.

Chrysanthemum ‘Clapham Delight’

This cultivar has large, pure white flowers with tightly incurved petals. It includes a neat shape and thick, sturdy stems.  It is among the greatest choices for white blossoms for exhibition purposes.

Chrysanthemum ‘Music’

This very reliable outdoor chrysanthemum has bright rose-pink flowers from September onwards. The flowers have incurved petals, and they are great for cutting and flower structures.  It grows up to 1.2m in height.

Chrysanthemum ‘Evesham Vale’  

‘Evesham Vale’ has completely double, rich-red blossoms with reflexed, wavy petals and does well in the boundary or allotment. The flowers are dramatic and long lasting in the vase if trimming as the buds are opening. It flowers from overdue September during October and November, until the first frosts of winter.

Chrysanthemum ‘Early Yellow’

‘Early Yellow’ is a long-lasting, prolific, perennial variety with daisy-like, canary-yellow, single flowers with a prominent gold center. It is one of the earliest chrysanthemums, with flowers from July. It is hardy in the south of the UK and should survive a standard winter outside and come again in the following summer. It grows up to 90cm tall.

Chrysanthemum ‘Pompon Yellow’

This cottage garden favourite is streamlined and half sturdy, and it generates plenty of sprays of nearly spherical, completely double, 8cm, yellow pompon flowers. It is relatively simple to increase in the boundary or patio containers. It will continue flowering from September via to the first frosts. It will grow to a height of 75cm.

Chrysanthemum ‘Spartan Fire’

‘Spartan fire’ has fiery red, reflexed flowers with a flash of golden the underside of the petals. They are as striking in a vase as they are in the flower border. They are sturdy enough to overwinter many decades, especially in the warmer areas of the country. The plant will develop to 90cm tall.

Chrysanthemum ‘Golden Rain’

This is an unconventional kind of chrysanthemum, with brief, incurving inner florets and long and slim outer ones. These spidery outer florets can attain 15cm in length, and give the golden-yellow flower a tasteful and dramatic look on the plant, or in a bouquet or flower structure. The flowers appear from November on quite tall spikes upward to 1.5m in height. It has the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

Chrysanthemum ‘Mrs Jessie Cooper’

A variety of Chrysanthemum rubellum, this is another Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit winner. It is a hardy variety with long-lasting, daisy-like, dusky-red, single flowers with a rather prominent yellow center. It flowers from August to November and may attain a height of 80cm.

Chrysanthemum ‘Heather James’

‘Heather James’ is a late variety that develops to 1.5m. It has medium-sized, reddish bronze flowers with incurved petals.   It blossoms through November.

Chrysanthemum Care

The appropriate care to get a chrysanthemum is dependent upon whether it is a garden sturdy variety or a exhibition kind. Garden rugged perennials are effective at wintering in sheltered regions across a lot of the UK, although some are just completely hardy in the southwest, or close the shore. Exhibition varieties are less durable and require to be overwintered indoors in a cool greenhouse, sometimes with the provision of artificial lighting.  Late chrysanthemums want to be increased under glass to bring them into flower later in the season.

In overall, the exhibition kinds are increased by enthusiasts, and the amateur gardener will stick to the sturdy varieties, this article concentrates on growing these ancient chrysanthemums which may be kept outside all year round in warmer regions. There is still a lot of choice within this selection, from taller varieties that require staking and provide exceptional sprays of cut flowers to dwarf cultivars which are excellent in containers as well as borders.

Newly purchased or propagated plants must be hardened in April in a cold frame or simply by moving them during the daytime to a sheltered place near the home. They may be implanted at 40cm centers into the boundary in mid-May. Dwarf varieties in containers can be planted more carefully. The plants must be dealt with by the root ball rather than the foliage or stem, each of which can be easily damaged at this phase.

They will perform best in a sheltered and sunny position. Enrich the soil in the winter before planting by digging in lots of organic matter like garden mulch or well-rotted manure. Add blood, fish and bone to the floor at approximately 100gram per square metre a few weeks prior to planting. Plant into the border so they are in the same degree since they are in the pot.

After planting, water daily and liberally for a few weeks to avoid stress while the plants establish a fantastic root system.

To encourage flower production in spray cultivars which have big, multiple flower heads, the growing points may be pinched out in overdue May or premature June if they have attained approximately 25cm tall to promote more branching. This is known as ‘stopping’, also is a traditional technique for chrysanthemum growing.

For other forms, large single blossoms can encouraged at the cost of the variety of flowers by removing side buds and shoots that just the terminal flower bud on every shoot remains.

The taller chrysanthemums may get top heavy in flower, and the stalks aren’t necessarily hardy enough to service the flowers, especially if there are hefty fall showers and gales. Some service is therefore required, either as individual bets or as netted twine tied to a group.

After flowering, the stalks should be cut to 20cm to depart an overwintering stool. In mild areas where frosts don’t get under -5°C, the stools could mostly be abandoned to their particular devices over winter, although a mulch of bark chips or backyard mulch will provide some insurance. When there are likely to be severe frosts, it is wise to take further precautions and provide a deeper mulch with straw or fleece, or even better still to lift and shop the stools in an unheated greenhouse or some cool conservatory. To do this, lift the stools from the floor and shake the soil from the roots. Remove any green leaves and shoots, and shop the stools in a shallow tray in addition to a 5cm layer of multi-purpose mulch with a further light covering of un-compacted mulch at the top of them. They shouldn’t be watered, however the compost ought to be kept slightly moist.

Light requirements

They do best in a sunny but sheltered position in the backyard.


Water well at planting and to maintain the soil moist but not waterlogged thereafter.

Soil conditions

Any well drained and organic rich garden soil is suitable, and they aren’t in any way fussy about soil pH. They will also endure relatively thick clay soils, although these would be greatest ameliorated with lots of organic matter to decrease the risk of waterlogging and rust.


A ‘leading dressing’ of nitrogen-rich fertiliser like sulphate of ammonia or poultry manure pellets may be applied in approximately 35g per square metre in June to encourage overall development. A light dressing of blood, fish and bone or diluted tomato fertiliser in September will help maximise the amount and quality of blooms.


Most forms of chrysanthemum will increase in massive pots, at least 35cm in diameter( although some are far better suited than others. The less sturdy forms could be obtained outside for the summer and early fall to stand the patio, or strands of the earlier flowering half-hardy varieties could be dropped into the soil. This is a fantastic method of adding color to the herbaceous edge in early fall without too much additional effort, but they want to be brought back indoors whenever there is a risk of frost.

Fill containers with John Innes No 2 compost and for baskets, use only 1 plant per container. Multiple dwarf chrysanthemums could be implanted in larger containers. Water them in well, and include a bet for taller varieties.  Keep them in a cool conservatory or greenhouse, harden off, then set them outside in a sunny, sheltered place once all risk of frost has passed.

Water the container well during the summertime and give them a balanced feed every 2 weeks from until the flower buds look.

The plants must be cut when they have finish flowering, and kept in a frost-free area during winter with minimal watering to maintain the compost only slightly moist.

Hardy varieties may be grown in containers which remain outside all year around, but the marijuana will require to be shielded from the frost with bubble-wrap or a good deal of fleece and straw so the roots close the outside aren’t affected.

Looks great with

Chrysanthemums are usually increased as mixed displays in their own right, or as a late summer and fall addition to the herbaceous edge when many other flowers have finished. A vibrant selection of chrysanthemums could be complemented with a muted foil of other daisy-like flowers, especially asters, or they seem great against an autumn history of tall grasses such as Molinia, Miscanthus, also Pennisetum.



Chrysanthemums don’t require pruning as such, but as described previously, flower numbers, size and timing could be influenced by stopping and pinching out growing points and flower buds.

At the ending of the flowering period, the plant ought to be cut to a 20cm feces for overwintering.

Chrysanthemum Propagation

There are many procedures of propagation for chrysanthemums.

The most reliable method is by taking basal cuttings from the previous year’s plants in ancient March as new growth arises from the crowns. 8cm cuttings should be taken from as near as possible to the crown. These ought to be put in individual baskets, watered well, and increased on at 10°C for planting out after in the summer.

Alternatively, well-established plants can be divided in spring, after the year’s new growth has emerged. Use a sharp, sterilised knife to divide the root chunk and make certain each portion has roots and stem development.

Several kinds of chrysanthemum could be grown from seed, which is normally available from the bigger seed retailers and specialist suppliers. These ought to be sown into a fantastic quality seed mulch in trays and stored in a constant 15°C. They should germinate within a fortnight. They could be potted on, hardened in May, and implanted to flower in the same calendar year.

Common Chrysanthemum Problems


Aphids and leaf miners are typical chrysanthemum pests, and they are sometimes treated with sprays or organic alternatives. Leaf and marijuana eelworms can damage inventory which hasn’t yet been heat-treated by the original grower.

Earwigs sometimes damage blossoms, also may be controlled by hand collection in an upturned kettle of straw on the supporting bet. Capsid insect and glasshouse red spider mite are occasional pests of indoor chrysanthemums.


Fungal diseases like chrysanthemum white rust, gray mold and rots can be quite damaging to the plants, and they are difficult to control. Powdery mildew can impact plants which are left with sterile conditions. Chrysanthemums will also be susceptible to numerous viral diseases which could lead to deformity, stunting and yellowish or brownish leaf markings.


Q I have discovered growing chrysanthemums on the allotment brings a type of organic insecticide that shields the vegetable plants. Is this authentic?


There is an element of truth in that old wives tale, however it is unlikely that the plants’ innate insecticidal qualities will protect other crops around them. Chrysanthemums are a source of pyrethrum, a natural insecticide. Extracts out of the flowers are still utilized in certain insecticidal preparations which are applied as a suspension in water or oil, or even as a powder. Pyrethrin strikes the nervous systems of insects and in sub-lethal doses it has a repellent effect, which is quite efficient against mosquitoes.   Although damaging to fish, pyrethrin is not as toxic to mammals and birds compared to most of the recent synthetic insecticides. It biodegrades in the soil and decomposes rapidly on exposure to light, therefore it is not persistent in the environment.

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